New school plans move a step closer

Plans for a replacement school in a Deeside village moved a step closer this week.

Drumoak Primary – the most overcrowded school in Aberdeenshire – has been running at twice its 50 pupil capacity for years, prompting repeated calls for a new building.

Councillors had previously chosen a site off Sunnyside Drive at Drumoak for the replacement school and were told initially that it would cost £7.2million.

On Tuesday, the Kincardine and Mearns area committee were asked for their views on a revised cost estimate of £7,396,000.

In a report, members were informed that the price rise was down to a proposed extension to add a catering kitchen, as well as the installation of solar panels on the roof.

Councillors were also asked to consider proposals to build a two-court, which would be used by members of the community, instead of a single-court hall.

Cllr Peter Bellarby said: “What this committee and councillors in the ward have done is listen to what the community has to say.

“Concerns have been raised about when this school will be put in place and there is a wish for it to be done as soon as possible. I suggest that we listen to the community again in relation to the size of the hall. I think we should have a two court hall there.”

Cllr Graeme Clark added: “Drumoak has needed a school for many years.

“In terms of the hall, there is no alternative. There is a church hall which is not big enough.

“Drumoak lacks a heart at the moment and this new hall could be a solution to that. Let’s get it done as soon as we can.”

The committee agreed to the recommendations in the report and added that they preferred the option with the double sized hall to be the one built. Members suggested that the council should look into the selling of the current community hall.